Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. – Ephesians 2:11-12, ESV
Humility is a key characteristic of the Christian faith. One of the reasons we have to be humble is what our state was before we were saved by Christ. From an eternal perspective we had no hope. If you’re like me and came to faith as an adult, you may not have believed there was a God and there was a need for salvation. However, that is where we were.
This humility should carry over to how we treat people who don’t believe as we do. We were once the same. Even if you came to faith as a child and don’t remember a time when you didn’t believe and follow Jesus Christ, you were still in that state. Since we were in that state, we have no ground to stand on that we are in some way better, superior, or in any way above someone who doesn’t believe. The only reason we are not in that state was because God brought us out of that unbelief.
Scripture commands us to be gentle, to be patient, to be sacrificial in our love towards others. There aren’t provisions for who we treat in this manner. We are to treat everyone with respect, kindness, and compassion. This includes those whose views are diametrically opposed to ours.
The good news is that some of the folks who disagree with us will come to share our faith. The encouragement we can take is that God can and often will use us to reach folks who believe differently than us. If we respond to others as God commands, we may have the special privilege of seeing someone come to faith. Now that’s something to look forward to!